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Wideband Global SATCOM.jpg
Artist's impression of a WGS satellite in orbit
Mission type Communications
Operator US Air Force
COSPAR ID 2009-068A
SATCAT no. 36108
Mission duration 14 years
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type WGS Block I
Bus BSS-702
Manufacturer Boeing
Launch mass 5,987 kilograms (13,199 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 6 December 2009, 01:47:00 (2009-12-06UTC01:47Z) UTC[1]
Rocket Delta IV-M+(5,4)
Launch site Cape Canaveral SLC-37B
Contractor United Launch Alliance
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 12° west
Semi-major axis 42,164.31 kilometers (26,199.69 mi)
Eccentricity 0.0021002
Perigee 35,704 kilometers (22,185 mi)
Apogee 35,881 kilometers (22,295 mi)
Inclination 0.07 degrees
Period 23.93 hours
Epoch 12 September 2013, 03:24:09 UTC[2]
WGS-3 logo.jpg

USA-211, or Wideband Global Satcom 3 (WGS-3) is an American military communications satellite operated by the United States Air Force as part of the Wideband Global Satcom programme. Launched in 2009, it was the third WGS satellite, and final Block I spacecraft, to reach orbit. It is stationed at 12° west in Geostationary orbit.[3]

Built by Boeing, USA-211 is based on the BSS-702 satellite bus. It had a mass at launch of 5,987 kilograms (13,199 lb), and was expected to operate for fourteen years. The spacecraft is equipped with two solar arrays to generate power for its communications payload, which consists of cross-band X and Ka band transponders. Propulsion is provided by an R-4D-15 apogee motor, with four XIPS-25 ion engines for stationkeeping.[4]

USA-211 was launched by United Launch Alliance, who placed it into orbit using an Delta IV rocket, which flew for the first time in the Medium+(5,4) configuration. The launch took place from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with at 01:47:00 UTC on 6 December 2009.[1] The launch was successful, placing the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, from which it raised itself into geostationary orbit using its propulsion system. Following launch, the satellite was designated USA-211 under the US military's designation system, and received the International Designator 2009-068A and Satellite Catalog Number 36108.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Peat, Chris (12 September 2013). "WGS F3 (USA 211) - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Graham, William (24 May 2013). "ULA Delta IV successfully lofts WGS-5 satellite". Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "WGS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "UCS Satellite Database". Union of Concerned Scientists. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.